Obamacare has been repealed and ordinary US citizens no longer have access to affordable healthcare. A little boy born with a congenital heart defect has gotten a series of 5 open heart surgeries under Obamacare. Just one more surgery is needed to fix his fragile heart, however this surgery is no longer feasible. “Why?” Emily Gao asks. “This little boy cannot get the surgery because his family can’t pay for it out of pocket; his family does not have access to affordable medical care without Obamacare. He lies in the hospital room in a building full of doctors and heart surgeons with all the medical devices and technology he needs to receive his surgery, but the invisible barrier of money and politics prevent him from doing so,” she informs me. She continued, “In a resourceful and powerful country like America, a little boy is made powerless through invisible and intangible barriers, which is very frustrating to the victims of disease and injury.”
Emily told me that all of us have access to affordable health care, we don’t have to worry about being healthy and that gives us the privilege to worry about other issues such as LGTBQ equality and getting into college. Kids like us are privileged, we are allowed to experience life to the fullest because of our medical security. She asks me, “Why should children, all over the world, not be given the gift of experiencing life, while being forced to live one?” Science and technology are progressing faster than ever now due to our abundance of resources, especially in California. But what about the rest of the world, and countries that don’t have resources like America? Emily insists that the resources already exist in this world to provide basic medical care to everyone. If we have the resources to help people, and provide medical care, then why aren’t we doing so? Emily is determined to find out how we can gather the resources to provide everyone, especially children all over the world, with basic medical security.
Emily and I go on to discuss a very relevant book called Mountains Beyond Mountains, a memoir of the life of Dr. Paul Farmer. Her first experience with the horrors of medicine in foreign countries was in reading this novel. “Affordable health care is a very important issue in America, however basic health care in other countries is also very important” she proclaims. Her and I discuss the importance of preventative measures, as shown in this novel. The cost of preventing a plethora of diseases is much less than the cost of treating them. In Haiti, where medicine for treating Tuberculosis (TB) is hard to find, the prevalence of this disease is unfortunately high. The cost of the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine, a preventative measure for TB, is less than a dollar. Once someone is infected with TB, the cost of treating the actual disease can be as much as $80K for one person, although the average cost is lower at $14K. She tells me about her aspirations to provide quality preventative measures to children in developing countries knowing the importance of them.
The world is so large, that it’d be very hard to treat all the children in the world. Is it possible to quantify your goal? How do you know you’ve made a difference?
“I hope to be able to change at least one family’s life in a positive way by giving them access to health care.” she answered.
Tags:Medicine, Developing Countries, Health, Insurance, Poverty, Affordable_Health_Care, Vaccines, Surgeries, Obamacare, Children, Paul_Farmer, Mountains_Beyond_Mountains, Heart_Surgery, Family, US, Science, Technology, Education, Preventative_Medicine, Privilege, Emily_Gao, Meghana_Manepalli